NPFL: Bayelsa United appeals IMC punishment

Photo: Bayelsa United coach, Depriye Teibowei.

By Ifeanyi Eduzor

Premiership side, Bayelsa United has appealed the decision to punish them taken by the Interim Management Committee (IMC), on an alleged assault of an assistant referee at the Samson Siasia Stadium Wednesday, February 1 during an NPFL league game against newly promoted Doma United Football Club of Gombe State.

The Interim Management Committee of the Nigeria league, ordered a three points and three goals deduction from Bayelsa United that is returning to the elite league after seven years in the second tier  domestic football. ng gathered that the club in it’s  appeal explained that contrary to the allegation against it on Match Day 5 in it’s home game against  Doma United FC that the home team provided funds to the Bayelsa State Football Association to ensure that security and other related  logistics were on ground during the match.

“The State FA provided 35 police officers for the purpose of ensuring an enhanced security at the stadium which  was much more than the 30  earlier agreed on  by both teams in the pre- match meeting.

“Preliminary report by the Nigeria Police Force that were on ground indicates that the assault on the match official, assistant referee two; Ojeleye Ebenezer was the action of a hoodlum who deceitfully gained access to the area pretending to be a local aid and guide of the  visiting team.

“He also accompanied the visiting team to the pre- match meetings and to the stadium for the match, hence reasonably convinced everyone that he was rendering assistance to them, thereby hiding his intent and purpose”the team stated in it’s appeal

The Prosperity Boys further explained that the  assailant Joseph Zidougha Odede popularly known as ‘One Man Riot’ is in no way related to Bayelsa United FC and  has never been a member of the supporters club whose dress code is Navy blue shirt and white as seen in the video they attached to their appeal.

“Joseph Zidougha Odede essence for the ungodly act is totally unknown to Bayelsa United FC, and therefore can never be interpreted as a fan or agent of the definition and interpretation of the framework and rules of the NPFL.

” Furthermore, the said assailant has gained notoriety within the Nigerian football family as a lousy, noisy blabber that is generally known to be a fan of no club, but is only ready to do the bidding of any club that procures him or entices him with a gift or cash.

The club further stated that the hooligan got past the security personnel who believes that he was  rendering  assistance to the  visiting team at the time players and officials trooped off the pitch to the dressing room at the end of the match when the incident occurred noting that the breach of security that led to the assault on a match official can not be justifiably blamed on Bayelsa United FC as the intention of the assailant was criminally disguised. It would therefore be against the spirit of natural justice and fairness to punish Bayelsa United for a breach it has not been found wanting.

The  club also said that it was through it’s efforts aided by men of the Nigerian Police that the  assailant was apprehended which they supported with pictures as evidence.

Based on their submission and pursuant to provision of Rule E of Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Premier Football League the club appealed that the  one million naira awarded against them on the grounds of failure to provide adequate security, be set aside.

It also want the  fine of Five Hundred Thousand Naira awarded against it on grounds of failure to ensure the restriction of access to unauthorized persons to all areas, be also set aside.

And that the  order deducting 3 points and 3 goals from the accumulated points/goals of Bayelsa united for the assault of match official be vacated in the interest of fairness and equity while it also called for the review of the N250,000 awarded as compensatory payment for the assault on Ojeleye Ebenezer.

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